Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ernest Hemingway Hunted U-Boats in the Hooligan Navy

From the May 31, 2014, Listverse "Ten Incredible Facts About Ernest Hemingway" by Aaron Short.

Ernest Hemingway hunted German U-boats as part of the World War II Hooligan Navy.  With enemy submarines causing havoc off the coasts of the United States, the Navy asked for civilian volunteers to help patrol in private yachts and report U-boats.  This group became known as the Hooligan Navy.

Most would report sightings by radio, but Hemingway saw this as great fun, proclaimed himself a captain and patrolled off the coast of Cuba.  He intended to sink any U-boat he spotted and armed his boat with Thompson machine guns and hand grenades and assembled a motley crew of bullfighters, Basque jai-alai players, a billionaire businessman and a U.S. Marine.

He figured that a U-boat would surface and come close to his ship. The jai alai players could toss grenades at the sub's conning tower while the rest of his "crew" fired machine guns.

He never spotted his prey and most "patrols" were simply an excuse to go fishing and get drunk with his buddies.

What Ya Goin' to Do With Ernest?  --GreGen

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